How to Reset Philips Hue Bulbs: 4 Easy Methods With Pictures

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Hue bulbs work incredibly well most of the time. When things go wrong, though, you need a quick and easy process for resetting Hue bulbs with or without a Hue bridge.

In this article, I’ll show you how to reset Philips Hue bulbs using four quick methods. At least one of these methods should work for every generation or type of Hue bulb, including those connected through Bluetooth or the Hue Zigbee bridge.

How to Reset Philips Hue Bulbs Without a Bridge

This method will work for any Hue bulb, whether they are connected through a Hue bridge or through a Bluetooth connection.

If your bulbs are connected through a bridge, this method won’t reset the bridge, which means you don’t have to go through the entire Hue bridge setup process again. Instead, only bulb-specific settings will be erased.

The instructions I included here are for bulbs that you set up through the standard Hue iPhone or Android app. The steps are very similar if you used the Hue Bluetooth app instead, but the screenshots won’t precisely match.

  1. Go to the Settings tab in the Philips Hue app.
  2. Click Lights under the On This Bridge section.
The Lights button in the Hue Settings menu
  1. Select the light you want to reset.
The Philips Hue app, showing how to select a specific light bulb
  1. Press Delete.
The single light page of the Philips Hue app, showing how to delete the light
  1. Click Delete light to confirm.
The confirmation page for deleting or resetting a Philips Hue bulb in the Hue app
  1. Re-add the bulb by clicking the three dots icon on the Hue app Home tab. The app should auto-detect your smart bulb again. Otherwise, you can add it using the Hue bulb serial number located at the base of each bulb.
The Philips Hue app home tab, showing the button for adding new lights

How to Reset Philips Hue Bulbs With a Bridge

Sometimes, the issue isn’t with your bulb. Many Hue light errors are actually caused by Hue bridge connection problems. In those cases, you’ll need to reset the bridge, which will also reset all of the bulbs and accessories that are connected through the bridge.

I would suggest trying the previous method first, especially if you are only having problems with a single bulb. Since this one does a full factory reset of your Hue bridge, you’ll have to run through the entire setup process again. Before you continue, take note of any scenes or automations that you want to re-create after the reset.

  1. Turn your bridge on and make sure the power status light is lit.
  2. Remove the ethernet cable from the bridge, but leave the power plug in place.
  3. Look for the pin-hole on the back of your Hue Bridge. It will be right by the label that says “restore factory settings”. Take a pin and press the button in the hole for at least 5 seconds.
  4. Set up your Hue bridge and all of your lights again, following the in-app instructions or the manual that came with your devices.
You can find the reset button on the back of your Philips Hue Bridge.

How to Reset Philips Hue Bulbs With Alexa

This method won’t do a full reset of the Hue bulb. Instead, it will reset the connection with the Alexa app. If you’re having problems with Alexa routines using your Hue smart lights, disconnecting them from Alexa is a quicker and easier fix than a full reset of your Hue system.

  1. Open the Alexa smartphone app and go to the Devices tab.
  2. Click the Lights button.
The Alexa app device screen, showing the Lights select button
  1. Select the light you want to remove. To remove every Hue bulb, select “All Hue lights”.
The Alexa Lights screen, showing how to select a single lamp
  1. Press the gear icon in the upper right corner to open the Device Settings menu.
The Alexa Light screen, showing how to open the Light Settings menu
  1. Click the trash can icon in the upper right corner to delete the device from Alexa. You’ll be given a chance to confirm before the device is actually removed.
The Alexa light settings screen, showing the delete button
  1. Re-add the smart bulb the same way you added it initially. Alexa should auto-detect the bulb again now that it’s been removed.

You can use a similar process to fix Philips Hue issues with Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, Apple HomeKit, or other smart assistants. If there’s a particular one you want me to add to this tutorial, just leave a comment.

How to Reset Hue Bulbs Using a Hue Dimmer Switch

If you have a Hue dimmer switch, resetting an individual bulb is incredibly easy. You don’t even need to use your smartphone.

  1. Bring the switch as close as possible to the bulb, preferably within 6 inches.
  2. Press and hold the switch’s power button (top) and Hue button (bottom). For older switches, use the power and power off buttons instead.
  3. Wait for the light bulb to blink three times. That signals that the bulb has been reset to factory default settings.

What’s Next?

Once your Hue bulbs are working again, it’s time to get back to leveling up your smart home experience. If you’re not making full use of smart plugs, check out my mega list of smart plug uses. Hue users have an extra reason to invest in smart plugs since the Hue smart plug extends the range of your Hue bulb network.

Oh, and did you know that you can sync your Hue lights to Spotify music? That’s even cooler when you pair it with Alexa Spotify commands for voice control.

Finally, I know that Hue lights can get expensive if you use them everywhere. That’s why I put together a head-to-head comparison of Philips Hue vs Wiz lights, both of which are now owned by the same parent company. Wiz lights are much cheaper, so they are great for extending your smart lighting system on a budget.

2 thoughts on “How to Reset Philips Hue Bulbs: 4 Easy Methods With Pictures”

  1. Hmm, my issue seems outside the scope of your fine tutorial. I have a bulb from 3 moves ago I cannot connect because it is still registered *somewhere*;but for the life of me I don’t know where. I have the serial from the base but when I enter it into the Hue app it says it can’t find the light *or* it’ll say that serial is already present but to why to identify what entry it is.

    Any ideas?

    1. That could be difficult if the app still thinks the bulb is registered with your current account.
      Do you have a Hue dimmer switch? It should still be able to force a reset of the bulb. If you don’t have one, though, a $20+ purchase probably isn’t worth it to try to rescue one bulb.

      One last idea. This is a long shot, but I’ve had good luck with Hue’s Lamp Finder application in the past. It allows you to force reset a specific Hue bulb by moving it close to your bridge.

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